Anorak News | Pie-Eyed Chuckers

Pie-Eyed Chuckers

by | 14th, September 2005

‘FROM pie chuckers to pie-eyed partiers, the transformation of England’s cricketers moves on apace this morning.

Both the Mirror (“OFF HIS FRED! – And hasn’t he urned it”) and Sun (“OFF HIS FRED – DON’T WORRY, MATE…YOU’VE URN-ED IT) lead with a shot of Andrew Flintoff looking liked he stayed up all night drinking and smoking.

Which, funnily enough, is exactly what he has been up to, as the Sun takes a detailed look at “Flintoff’s 24-hour Ashes party”.

When asked by former England captain Mike Gatting if he’d eaten anything since starting his Ashes celebration, Flintoff replied: “Yes, a cigar.”

Indeed, thanks to the paper’s montage of the Flintoff day, we can confirm that he chomped on his cigar at 18:30 yesterday. And at 04:00, Flintoff had set the anti-smoking cause back a few decades to the time when sportsmen appeared on cigarette cards by lighting up a fag for dessert.

But it wasn’t just Flintoff sipping vodka at 7:30 yesterday morning, as the Sun tells its readers in “ASHES TO LASHES” what the rest of the players got up to and what they drank.

Between 6:30pm and 10pm after the match at the Oval cricket ground, the team ordered 10 cases of lager, 3 cases of white wine, 2 cases of red wine, 2 cases of champagne and 1 bottle of brandy.

It was then off to a London hotel for “beers all round”, followed by loads of champagne in a Soho club. At 3am the lads returned to the hotel for bottles of larger and more champers.

That’s a good effort, and we thank the sober Sun for standing by and taking note of what everyone was drinking. And we appreciate the paper’s help in further building the Flintoff legend by telling readers how at 8:30am, England’s Colossus was the only one to turn up for the champagne reception at the team’s hotel.

While Flintoff proves that winners can binge drink – or is it that binge drinkers are winners? – and gets foursquare behind the Government’s decision to change the licensing laws, the Mirror looks about for a bit of man-on-woman action.

And it finds some, leering down its zoom lens as Kevin Pietersen smooches with his new girlfriend Natalie Pinkham. And there’s a shot of Ian bell swapping saliva with a blonde fan.

And, er, that’s it. Either the papers have decided to draw a line at a certain point and not report on everything that occurred, or there is little more to say. No spit-roasts. No illegal drugs. No arrests.

This is “CRICKET MANIA” (Express’s front page), not football, and it demands a different approach.

Sure, the cricketers drank to excess, but they have a long time to recover. It will be a full four years before the Australians return to these shores. And by then many of this summer’s converts to the game will have forgotten the success of 2005.

And if you doubt that, see if you can remember the names of more than a handful of the England rugby team who became world champions in 2003. And then wonder when any of them last appeared on the front pages…’

Posted: 14th, September 2005 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink